Practice overview

Jonathan is an experienced KC having taken Silk in 2016 at just 13 years’ call. Prior to taking Silk, Jonathan was shortlisted for Chambers & Partners’ Junior of the Year award in the areas of Chancery and Real Estate; and served on the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel to the Crown, the most senior Crown Panel. Since being appointed KC, Jonathan’s practice has continued to encompass the full spectrum of commercial chancery work with a particular focus on property, tax and trusts. Jonathan was appointed to the Government of the Virgin Islands Panel in 2023.

Jonathan is a highly respected litigator with considerable experience of complex, large scale litigation in cases which involve more than one area of law. A recent example is the high profile £1.6 billion Ingenious litigation in the commercial and tax fields. Jonathan has considerable experience of leading large legal teams.

Jonathan is a highly persuasive advocate, who is “very well respected by the judges “ (Legal 500), and has substantial experience both as a trial lawyer and as an appellate advocate. As well as appearing in the higher courts, Jonathan frequently appears across a range of tribunals and other dispute resolution forums.

The diversity and breadth of Jonathan’s expertise is reflected in his ranking in the legal directories across a range of areas including real estate, tax, private client (trusts), chancery (traditional) and charities.

Jonathan's expertise

Download Commercial disputes CV

Commercial disputes

Jonathan has extensive experience of business and commercial litigation across a range of courts and tribunals. His commercial legal expertise is supplemented by his experience in business in the UK, USA and Europe prior to coming to the Bar. Jonathan’s commercial practice is broad, reflecting his “impressive breadth of his expertise” (Chambers & Partners) and the fact that he is recommended in the legal directories across a range of fields including real estate, private client, tax and private wealth. Key elements within Jonathan’s commercial practice include:

Partnership and company disputes including related tax. For example:

  • London Luton BPRA Property Fund LLP v HMRC [2023] EWCA Civ 362: Multimillion pound capital allowances test case regarding commercial property development LLP.
  • Gala Film Partners LLP v HMRC [2023] UKFTT 699 (TC): Dispute concerning whether activities of film-related partnership amount to a trade.
  • Ingenious Film Partners 2 LLP v HMRC [2022] EWCA Civ 015; [2021] EWCA Civ 1180 – £1.6 billion dispute concerning partnerships involved in the film industry.
  • Clark v HMRC [2020] EWCA Civ 204 – dispute concerning offshore corporate and trust structures used to liberate pension funds.
  • Seven Individuals v HMRC [2017] UKUT 132 (TCC) – multimillion-pound dispute concerning partners investing in partnerships involved in the creative industries.
  • Acornwood LLP v HMRC [2016] UKUT 36 (TCC) – £400 million dispute concerning creative industry limited liability partnerships.

Commercial property transactions. For example:

  • Acting for purchaser in respect of complex multimillion-pound transaction relating to land subject to charitable trust [2022-2023].
  • Acting for high profile public body in commercial dispute in respect of multimillion-pound option agreement relating to substantial real estate portfolio [2020-2021].
  • Multimillion-pound commercial dispute resolved by arbitration concerning the construction of complex contractual arrangements in respect of a real estate portfolio comprising over 1000 commercial properties [2018-2019].
  • Re real estate portfolio of leading UK University [2017]: Multimillion-pound dispute concerning the basis upon which a major UK University holds its real estate portfolio.
  • Camden Market Holdings Inc v IBRC [2015]: Dispute concerning rights under complex security arrangements in respect of assets worth £400m.
  • Century Projects Limited v Almacantar (Centre Point) Limited [2014] EWHC 394 (Ch): High value commercial property dispute in respect of rights relating to iconic central London property, Centre Point Tower on New Oxford Street.
  • Secretary of State for Justice v Topland Group [2013]: £23m commercial fraud dispute in respect of a transaction involving substantial central London business premises. Jonathan acted for the Secretary of State for Justice.

Rare artwork and other cultural items. For example:

  • Sotheby’s, Italian Ministry of Culture and others v Mazzarelli: Interpleader claim concerning disputed ownership of allegedly stolen medieval Italian religious and cultural manuscripts.
  • Acting in dispute regarding ownership rights in relation to significant 17th century (post-Ming, pre-Qing dynasty) Chinese porcelain collection.

Download Commercial disputes CV

  • Quote symbolJonathan's knowledge is second to none and he has the ability to work over complex areas of law and present them in support of a client's case in the most simple and clear manner.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolHe is the whole package. His advocacy and drafting are both amazing and he always puts clients at ease.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolJonathan is an exceptional drafter who produces pristine paperwork. He is able to unravel highly complicated problems so that pleaded submissions are presented with breathtaking clarity.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolA superlative courtroom advocate.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolJonathan is wholly excellent. He can very quickly read a courtroom and seamlessly adjust his approach to suit what he's seeing.

    Chambers & Partners 2023

Jonathan's expertise

Download Domestic arbitration CV

Domestic arbitration

Jonathan has extensive experience of arbitration, expert determination and other forms of ADR. He routinely advises and acts as an advocate in cases resolved by these means. He is happy to offer early neutral evaluations to assist parties in resolving their disputes.

Some representative cases include:

  • Acting for high profile public body in expert determination in respect of a multimillion-pound option agreement.
  • Acting in commercial dispute resolved by arbitration proceedings under the Arbitration Act 1996 concerning the construction of a complex contractual agreement in respect of a real estate portfolio comprising hundreds of commercial properties.
  • Acting for well-known FTSE 100 company in multimillion-pound damages claim decided through expert determination following one party’s termination of a development agreement.
  • Acting for vendor in multimillion-pound dispute resolved through mediation concerning breach of a contract for the sale of land in respect of a substantial central London residence.
  • Acting for principal in multimillion dispute resolved through mediation in respect of breach of an agency contract.

Download Domestic arbitration CV

  • Quote symbolJonathan's knowledge is second to none and he has the ability to work over complex areas of law and present them in support of a client's case in the most simple and clear manner.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolHe is the whole package. His advocacy and drafting are both amazing and he always puts clients at ease.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolJonathan is an exceptional drafter who produces pristine paperwork. He is able to unravel highly complicated problems so that pleaded submissions are presented with breathtaking clarity.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolA superlative courtroom advocate.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolJonathan is wholly excellent. He can very quickly read a courtroom and seamlessly adjust his approach to suit what he's seeing.

    Chambers & Partners 2023

Professional liability

Jonathan has extensive experience of professional liability disputes, including claims for negligence, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of statutory and regulatory obligations.

Jonathan acts for claimants and defendants, and across a wide variety of different professions.

Jonathan’s “impressive breadth of expertise” (Chambers & Partners) over a range of fields of law including property, trusts, tax and commercial gives him a sound understanding, and practical experience, of the substantive issues underlying the claim of professional negligence or other breach of duty.

Some representative cases include:

  • Accounting: Acting for defendant accountants in respect of multimillion-pound claim for breach of contractual and tortious duties owed to the commercial lender.
  • Estates and probate: Acting for defendant solicitors in respect of a dispute concerning the administration of a deceased’s estate.
  • Financial advice: Acting for a claimant investor in respect of claim against IFA in respect of property based investments.
  • Investment management: Acting for claimant investor in respect of a multimillion-pound claim against offshore discretionary fund manager.
  • Real Estate and planning: Acting for defendant architects in respect of dispute concerning planning issues in relation to substantial residential development.
  • Tax: Acting for defendant tax advisers in respect of complex employee benefit tax planning structure.
  • Trusts: Acting for defendant solicitors in respect of a high value dispute regarding drafting of trust documentation.

Download Professional liability CV

  • Quote symbolJonathan's knowledge is second to none and he has the ability to work over complex areas of law and present them in support of a client's case in the most simple and clear manner.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolHe is the whole package. His advocacy and drafting are both amazing and he always puts clients at ease.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolJonathan is an exceptional drafter who produces pristine paperwork. He is able to unravel highly complicated problems so that pleaded submissions are presented with breathtaking clarity.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolA superlative courtroom advocate.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolJonathan is wholly excellent. He can very quickly read a courtroom and seamlessly adjust his approach to suit what he's seeing.

    Chambers & Partners 2023

Jonathan's expertise

Download Property CV

Property

Jonathan is an experienced property practitioner. He is the current editor of Butterworths Property Law Handbook (with Benjamin Faulkner). Prior to taking Silk, Jonathan was shortlisted for the Chambers & Partners’ Property Junior of the Year award.

Jonathan is recommended as a leading property practitioner in Chambers & Partners where he is described as very hands-on, user-friendly and accessiblean absolute pleasure to work with – bright, thorough, well prepared”“impressive”“phenomenally bright”, and “an accomplished advocate”.

He is recommend in The Legal 500 for his real estate work which is described as “thorough, well judged and impeccable”, and his general approach “enormously enthusiastic”.

Jonathan’s real estate practice extends across the full range of issues that arise in respect of both commercial and residential property, freehold and leasehold. His clients range from individuals to corporate entities to government departments. He acts in disputes resolved through litigation, arbitration and expert determination and also advises transactional lawyers. Jonathan has particular expertise in respect of high value property disputes involving complex financial aspects.

Some representative cases include:

  • Meller and Sherwood v T&P Real Estate [2024] (ongoing): Joint venture dispute in respect of substantial commercial property development.
  • Re Shopping Centre Head Lease [2023-2024] (ongoing): Multi-million pound dispute in respect of rent arrears under high value commercial lease raising issues in respect of application of provisions of Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995.
  • Elborne v HMRC [2023] UKFTT 626 (TC): Test case regarding complex residential property tax planning structure.
  • Dispute re Charity Land [2022]: High-value multi-party dispute regarding ownership of and rights in respect of charity land.
  • Dispute re Railway Noise Pollution [2021]: Case regarding whether excessive noise caused by train horns constitutes nuisance giving rise to liability on part of major train operator towards owners of properties adjoining railway.
  • Dispute re London penthouse luxury apartment [2020]: High-value dispute regarding ownership and rights in respect of luxury residential accommodation overlooking Lord’s cricket ground.
  • £150 million property arbitration [2019]: High-value dispute regarding ownership of various elements within major commercial property estate.
  • Project Blue Limited v HM Revenue and Customs [2018] UKSC 30: Supreme Court case regarding £1 billion sale of Chelsea Barracks by the Ministry of Defence, raising a number of important issues including that of the relationship between English mortgage law and Islamic finance principles.
  • Estate of Lady Hood v HMRC [2018] EWCA Civ 2405: High profile Court of Appeal test case concerning the meaning of “property” in the context of leases and estate planning in relation to the family home.
  • Re real estate portfolio of leading UK University [2017]: Multi-million pound dispute concerning the basis upon which a major UK University holds its real estate portfolio.
  • Dispute re £1 billion property portfolio [2016]: High-value arbitration regarding interpretation and effect of contractual framework in respect of management of major national commercial property portfolio.
  • Nicholas v Secretary of State for Defence [2015] EWCA Civ 53: Human rights / property test case concerning compatibility of landlord and tenant legislation in respect of Crown tenancies with European Convention on Human Rights. Jonathan acted successfully for the landlord in the Court of Appeal. The tenant’s application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court was refused.
  • Phillips v Francis [2014] EWCA Civ 1395: Key landlord and tenant test case concerning the obligations of landlords to consult with tenants in respect of works of repair. Jonathan acted successfully for the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in the Court of Appeal.
  • Camden Market Holdings Inc v IBRC [2014]: Dispute concerning rights under complex mortgage arrangements in respect of assets worth £400m. Jonathan acted for the liquidators of the mortgagees (with Antony Zacaroli KC).
  • Century Projects Limited v Almacantar (Centre Point) Limited [2014] EWHC 394 (Ch): High-value commercial property dispute between landlord and tenant in respect of iconic central London property, Centre Point Tower on New Oxford Street. Jonathan acted for the tenants (with Jonathan Gaunt KC). Injunction application went to the Court of Appeal.
  • Secretary of State for Transport v Blake [2013] EWHC 2495 (Ch): Human rights / property test case concerning compatibility of landlord and tenant legislation in respect of Crown tenancies with European Convention on Human Rights, and the proper construction of contractual notices. Jonathan acted successfully for the landlord.
  • Secretary of State for Justice v Topland Group and others [2012]: £23m dispute involving alleged fraud in respect of a transaction involving substantial central London commercial premises. Jonathan acted for the Secretary of State for Justice (with Simon Browne Wilkinson KC and Philip Brook-Smith KC).

Download Property CV

  • Quote symbolJonathan's knowledge is second to none and he has the ability to work over complex areas of law and present them in support of a client's case in the most simple and clear manner.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolHe is the whole package. His advocacy and drafting are both amazing and he always puts clients at ease.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolJonathan is an exceptional drafter who produces pristine paperwork. He is able to unravel highly complicated problems so that pleaded submissions are presented with breathtaking clarity.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolA superlative courtroom advocate.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolJonathan is wholly excellent. He can very quickly read a courtroom and seamlessly adjust his approach to suit what he's seeing.

    Chambers & Partners 2023

Property insights & events View all thought leadership View all events

  1. Placeholder

    Recent Cases

    Tax Tribunal’s latest decision on home loan inheritance tax schemes

    Tax, Property, Trusts, probate and estates: contentious

    Jonathan Davey KC
    Tuesday 12 September 2023

    View more
  2. Placeholder

    Recent Cases

    Court of Appeal hands down important judgment in business premises renovation allowances case

    Tax, Property

    Jonathan Davey KC
    Tuesday 11 April 2023

    View more
  3. Placeholder

    Publications

    Butterworths Property Law Handbook

    Jonathan Davey KC | Benjamin Faulkner
    November 2022

    View more
  4. Placeholder

    Events / Webinars

    WATCH: Rent in the time of Covid: Practical considerations for turbulent times

    Thursday 20 May 2021 | 9.30am - 10.30am
    Online, Zoom

    1.0 CPD

    View more

View all thought leadership View all events

Jonathan's expertise

Download Tax CV

Tax

Jonathan is highly experienced and respected in the area of tax litigation.

Jonathan is ranked in the legal directories (Chambers UK, Chambers Global, Chambers HNW and/or The Legal 500) in the areas of tax (direct and indirect) and tax (private client).

Comments that have been made of him in recent directories include:

“Jonathan’s advocacy and leadership skills are exceptional. He is one of the best advocates.” (Private Client: Personal Tax – The Legal 500)

“A thoroughly modern silk who gives very straightforward and to-the-point advice. He’s someone who always provides answers rather than creates problems.” (Tax – Chambers UK)

“A very, very good and extremely eloquent advocate.” “Extremely good at explaining things in terms that a non-specialist can understand. He responds very quickly, which is welcome.” (Tax: Private Client – Chambers UK)

Some representative cases include:

  • London Luton BPRA Property Fund LLP v HMRC [2023] EWCA Civ 362: Multimillion pound capital allowances test case regarding hotel development.
  • Gala Film Partners LLP v HMRC [2023] UKFTT 699 (TC): Dispute concerning whether activities of film-related LLP amount to a trade.
  • Elborne v HMRC [2023] UKFTT 626 (TC):  Inheritance tax test case regarding complex residential property tax planning structure.
  • Watts v HMRC [2022] UKFTT 408 (TC): Dispute in respect of meaning of “transfer” in context of gilt strip legislation.
  • Ingenious Film Partners 2 LLP and others v HMRC [2022] EWCA Civ 015: £1.6 billion dispute concerning taxation of creative industry business structure.
  • Shelford (Herbert Life Settlement) v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 53 (TC): test case concerning inheritance tax home loan arrangements.
  • Life Services Ltd v HMRC [2020] EWCA Civ 452: dispute concerning relationship between European law principle of fiscal neutrality and UK devolved legislative structure.
  • Andrew v HMRC [2019] FTT 177 (TC): dispute in relation to complex gilt strip trust structure and applicable taxation.
  • Estate of Lady Hood v HMRC [2018] EWCA Civ 240: leading Court of Appeal case on estate planning in relation to the family home and the gift with reservation IHT provisions.
  • Seven Individuals v HMRC [2017] UKUT 132 (TCC); Acornwood LLP v HMRC [2016] UKUT 36 (TCC): £400 million dispute concerning taxation of Icebreaker film scheme.
  • Charity Commission v Mounstar [2016] EWHC 876 (Ch): dispute in respect of charitable trust involved in £45m tax avoidance scheme.

 

Download Tax CV

  • Quote symbolJonathan is an excellent advocate – able to quickly judge the mood of the Tribunal and to adapt as necessary. He is eloquent and extremely persuasive.

    The Legal 500 2024

  • Quote symbolAccessible and very easy to work with, excellent strategic insight and expertise in the inheritance tax field.

    The Legal 500 2024

  • Quote symbolJonathan's knowledge is second to none and he has the ability to work over complex areas of law and present them in support of a client's case in the most simple and clear manner.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolHe is the whole package. His advocacy and drafting are both amazing and he always puts clients at ease.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolJonathan is an exceptional drafter who produces pristine paperwork. He is able to unravel highly complicated problems so that pleaded submissions are presented with breathtaking clarity.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

Tax insights View all thought leadership

  1. Placeholder

    Articles

    Upper Tribunal decide tax and trusts appeal in respect of gilt strips

    Watts v Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs [2024] UKUT 00168 (TCC) Jonathan Davey KC has received judgment from the Upper Tribunal in an appeal concerning a claim for tax relief on losses said to arise on the sale of gilt strips.... Read more

    By Jonathan Davey KC
    Friday 14 June 2024

    View more
  2. Placeholder

    Recent Cases

    Tax Tribunal’s latest decision on home loan inheritance tax schemes

    Tax, Property, Trusts, probate and estates: contentious

    Jonathan Davey KC
    Tuesday 12 September 2023

    View more
  3. Placeholder

    Recent Cases

    Tax Tribunal hands down important judgment concerning “home loan double trust” inheritance tax scheme

    Tax, Trusts, probate and estates: contentious

    Jonathan Davey KC
    Friday 28 April 2023

    View more
  4. Placeholder

    Recent Cases

    Court of Appeal hands down important judgment in business premises renovation allowances case

    Tax, Property

    Jonathan Davey KC
    Tuesday 11 April 2023

    View more

View all thought leadership

Trusts, probate and estates: contentious

Jonathan is highly experienced and respected across the fields of trusts, probate and estates.

Jonathan is ranked in the legal directories (Chambers UK, Chambers Global, Chambers HNW and/or The Legal 500) in the areas of trusts – private client and chancery – traditional.

Comments that have been made of him in recent directories include:

“A brilliant advocate, excellent with clients, diligent, a leader who will go the extra mile for a client and then some.” (Trusts: Private Client – The Legal 500 2020)

“He is responsive, thoughtful and open-minded. He listens to the client and is very collaborative in his approach.” (Chancery: Traditional – Chambers UK 2020)

Some representative cases include:

  • Elborne v HMRC [2023] UKFTT 626 (TC):  Inheritance tax test case regarding complex residential property tax planning structure.
  • Pride v HMRC [2023] UKFTT 316 (TC): Dispute in respect of home loan double trust tax planning arrangements.
  • Shelford [2021] UKFTT 53 (TC): Dispute regarding whether value of freehold property fell within probate estate following purported sale of house.
  • Gareth Clark v HM Revenue and Customs [2020] EWCA Civ 204: dispute concerning offshore trust structure used to liberate pension funds.
  • Andrew v HMRC [2019] FTT 177 (TC): dispute in relation to complex gilt strip trust structure and applicable taxation.
  • Estate of Lady Hood v HMRC [2018] EWCA Civ 2405: leading Court of Appeal case on estate planning in relation to the family home and the gift with reservation IHT provisions.
  • Charity Commission v Mounstar [2016] EWHC 876 (Ch): dispute in respect of charitable trust involved in £45m tax avoidance scheme.
  • Freedman v Freedman [2015] EWHC 1457 (Ch): dispute in respect of doctrine of equitable mistake in relation to a family trust.

Download Trusts, probate and estates: contentious CV

  • Quote symbolJonathan's knowledge is second to none and he has the ability to work over complex areas of law and present them in support of a client's case in the most simple and clear manner.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolHe is the whole package. His advocacy and drafting are both amazing and he always puts clients at ease.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolJonathan is an exceptional drafter who produces pristine paperwork. He is able to unravel highly complicated problems so that pleaded submissions are presented with breathtaking clarity.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolA superlative courtroom advocate.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolJonathan is wholly excellent. He can very quickly read a courtroom and seamlessly adjust his approach to suit what he's seeing.

    Chambers & Partners 2023

Trusts, probate and estates: contentious insights View all thought leadership

  1. Placeholder

    Articles

    Upper Tribunal decide tax and trusts appeal in respect of gilt strips

    Watts v Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs [2024] UKUT 00168 (TCC) Jonathan Davey KC has received judgment from the Upper Tribunal in an appeal concerning a claim for tax relief on losses said to arise on the sale of gilt strips.... Read more

    By Jonathan Davey KC
    Friday 14 June 2024

    View more
  2. Placeholder

    Recent Cases

    Tax Tribunal’s latest decision on home loan inheritance tax schemes

    Tax, Property, Trusts, probate and estates: contentious

    Jonathan Davey KC
    Tuesday 12 September 2023

    View more
  3. Placeholder

    Recent Cases

    Tax Tribunal hands down important judgment concerning “home loan double trust” inheritance tax scheme

    Tax, Trusts, probate and estates: contentious

    Jonathan Davey KC
    Friday 28 April 2023

    View more

View all thought leadership

Jonathan's Details

BSB/VAT information

Registered name: Mr Jonathan Michael Davey
VAT number: 843802332

Privacy Notice pdf

Qualifications and Appointments

  • First Class Honours degree, Philosophy, University of Nottingham
  • Distinction, International Relations MA, University of Nottingham
  • MPhil, Downing College, Cambridge University
  • CPE, City University, London
  • Denning, Mansfield, Bowen and Hardwicke Scholarships, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Commercial experience in UK, USA and Europe prior to coming to the Bar
  • Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel to the Crown (A Panel)
  • BVI Government Panel of Counsel

Memberships

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Property Bar Association
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Commercial Fraud Lawyer’s Association
  • Revenue Bar Association

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